Abbotsford school district superintendent resigns for position in Regina

Abbotsford school district superintendent Julie MacRae has resigned to take a similar position in Regina, Sask. -
Abbotsford school district superintendent Julie MacRae has resigned to take a similar position in Regina, Sask.
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The superintendent of the Abbotsford school district has resigned to take a similar job in Regina, Sask. as of Aug. 1.

Julie MacRae said she was recruited by Regina Public Schools (RPS) for the position of director of education – the equivalent of a superintendent in B.C.

“I just felt that it looked like an exciting opportunity, and I decided to explore it.”

MacRae, who began her role with the Abbotsford school district in October 2008, said the job appealed to her because RPS serves an area about the size of Abbotsford and faces similar challenges, including funding pressures.

She said she also liked that RPS, like Abbotsford, has a growing number of English as a Second Language students, as well as a strong Metis and aboriginal student population.

“I have very mixed emotions. Abbotsford is a wonderful district, and there are very high-quality programs and services.”

She said she will miss the support of the staff and teachers she has worked with during her tenure.

Among the highlights of her time in Abbotsford is the implementation of the strategic plan, which was adopted last October, laying out the district’s goals for the years 2010-13 and how it would achieve them.

MacRae said another highlight has been the accomplishments of students in areas such as sports, the arts and academics.

She said the challenges have included the high turnover of senior management, both because of retirement and resignations. This includes the role of secretary-treasurer, which was vacated by Mark Lee last year after he had served in the role for only 10 months and is now held by Ray Velestuk.

Cindy Schafer, chair of the board of education, said the district has appreciated MacRae’s “positive leadership and fresh perspective,” especially during tough economic and budgetary times.

She credited MacRae for her work in helping to develop the strategic plan, adopting a long-range facilities plan, centralizing district career programs, and launching a new aviation program and 11 new StrongStart centres.

MacRae came to Abbotsford after serving as school district superintendent in Campbell River since 1998, and replaced Des McKay, who retired.

Abbotsford will now begin the search for MacRae’s replacement.

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